Factors associated with fecal incontinence in a nationally representative sample of diabetic women
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Introduction and hypothesis
Fecal incontinence (FI) is a debilitating condition that significantly affects quality of life, and has been associated with multiple risk factors. Our goal was to assess the prevalence of FI among diabetic women and evaluate factors associated with FI in this population.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2010 was used to evaluate women with diabetes mellitus and FI. FI was defined as involuntary loss of mucus, liquid, or solid stool at least monthly. Severity was evaluated using the Fecal Incontinence Severity Index. Potential risk factors associated with FI were explored with weighted chi-squared statistics. Variables associated with FI in multivariable logistic regression analysis are reported with odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (95 % CI).
Among 7,039 women, 13.6 % were diabetic, and 18.1 % of diabetic women reported FI compared to 8.4 % in the overall NHANES population (p < .001). In diabetic women, FI was associated with advancing age (OR 1.3, 95 % CI 1.1 – 1.5), depression (OR 2.0 95 % CI 0.9 – 4.5), poorer health status (OR 1.9, 95 % CI 1.2 – 3.1), urinary incontinence (OR 3.5, 95 % CI 2.1 – 5.9) and bowel movement frequency of ≥21/week (OR 4.9, 95 % CI 2.3 – 10.6) in a multivariable logistic regression model adjusted for race, education level, BMI, comorbidities, prior hysterectomy, and stool consistency.
FI affects one in five diabetic women and is strongly associated with high bowel movement frequency, a possible important modifiable factor that should be investigated further in prospective studies.
KeywordsDiabetes Fecal incontinence Urinary incontinence Health status
Conflicts of Interest
J.M. Wu: Proctor and Gamble Consultant
C. Matthews: Pelvalon and Boston Scientific Consultant
W.E. Whitehead: Salix Pharmaceuticals, Taxeda Pharmaceuticals, Rome Pharmaceuticals Consultant
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